KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 ― A PAS-linked academic said on the party’s Harakahdaily mouthpiece that a Muslim candidate must contest the Batu Sapi by-election triggered by former minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong’s death.

Senior lecturer Prof Kamarul Zaman Yusoff wrote an article titled “Letak Calon Islam di Batu Sapi (Field a Muslim candidate in Batu Sapi)” on the website, in which he concluded that the seat had been a Barisan Nasional stronghold since 2003.

He said that if BN and Perikatan Nasional did not squabble over the seat, they could wrest it back from Warisan.

The academic said this was because the constituency was primarily Bumiputera-Muslim (65.1 per cent), followed by the Chinese (30.0 per cent), mon-Muslim Bumiputera (4.1 per cent) and others (0.8 per cent).

“I understand and share the hope of many parties that the distribution of seats and the selection of election candidates between the component parties of any coalition will take into account the composition of voters in those seats with candidates should be taken from the dominant voters,” he said.

Liew died yesterday after he lost consciousness due to a collapsed lung at the Gleneagles Hospital in Kota Kinabalu where he had initially been admitted for a slipped disc.

Liew was a former Liberal Democratic Party president who joined Warisan in 2018 and was Pakatan Harapan’s minister in charge of legal affairs.

Kamarul Zaman,  who is with the Universiti Utara Malaysia's College of Law, Government and International Studies, has courted previous controversies including being banned by the varsity from making political posts on his social media platforms.

In April, he was listed as the special functions officer for Plantations and Commodities Minister Datuk Khairuddin Aman Razali of PAS, but after criticism of this emerged, he claimed to have rejected this.

Sections of Sabah have already expressed misgivings over the involvement of PAS in the state's politics.

Yesterday, Parti Bersatu Sabah that was nominally allied with PAS via the ruling Gabungan Rakyat Sabah coalition disagreed with the proposal for the Islamist party to be given one of the six openings for nominated assemblymen in the state assembly.